The Tools of our Trade

We are often asked what we use to design and implement our web sites. Here is a recipe for success. Main ingredients to make awesome websites are inspiration, a passion for design, typesets and a minimalist approach.
Here are some of the tools that money can buy …

  • Apple's MacBook Pro. The unbeaten tool. You will also find the Apple iMac in our team. The screen of MacBook Air is not large enough for design but excellent for everything else.
  • For image editing we use Pixelmator. Pixelmator is easy-to-use, fast and powerful image editing on the Mac. Pixelmator is founded in 2007 by two brothers.
  • Writing code in HTML and CSS is done in Coda. Coda is made by Panic, Inc. It supports SVN and has very nice and great features. Unlike template based web publishing tools Coda allows you to do whatever you want and the only limitation is the web standard.
  • To transfer the files we can certainly use Coda and can actually edit directly on the web site. But we normally don't do that. Instead, after exhaustive testing we transfer the entiresite or parts from the repository to the server with Transmit. A high performance and reliable ftp tool that allows us to send large data and many small files quickly and safely.
  • Before we start punching any cards we create some wireframe in OmniGraffle. That way we can discuss about the user experience and implications. It is crucial that we provide a thought leadership and consultancy to our customer.
  • To allow screen measurements and how large an icon should be we have xScope. xScope is a fascinating tool created in partnership with ARTIS Software and The Iconfactory. It helps to identify how much space on the screen is available, how big a picture should be or what thumbnail size should we use. xScope also assist to align the graphics on any web pages.
  • Of course. WordPress. Thanks to WordPress the Internet has become a better place.
  • XMIND Pro. For brainstorming, mind mapping, getting ideas onto paper and to outline the content and hierarchy of a site. I cannot think of a day where we did not use XMIND Pro.
  • MySQL started as open source freeware and succeeded by Sun, then succeeded by Oracle. Buy what you can't beat. Do we need to say more? We look for alternatives and prefer open source GPL as the driving SQL engine.
  • Apache web server has excellent performance. We have been disappointed by IIS, basically since day one.
  • Merlin - the project wizard. We have this product in use since day one. All project management including resource planning and tasks management is done with this fellow. A brilliant tool.
  • What would be the world without a good text editor? Perhaps there are as many text editors as documents. For technical plain text files this is the number one, BBEdit from BareBones. We also use Yojimbo and Evernote that we sync with BlackBerry and iPhone.
  • And then there is Apple's iWork with Pages, Keynote and Numbers, Solar Account for bookkeeping and VAT returns, Yojimbo and Things for GTD, Dragon Express by Nuance Communications, Inc. and last but not least the great Scrivener, made by Literature & Latte. Indispensable for any technical writing and research.
  • We also use VMWare to work with different operating systems and browsers. Because we build web sites from scratch thorough testing is imperative. Occasionally you can see us working with RapidWeaver. This site has been created with the help of RapidWeaver. If you are interested we can develop bespoke templates that will suit your needs.
  • And what about hosting? We run on Mac OS X server but prefer Linux over Windows. The websites we create can be hosted anywhere. Often some scripting languages such as PHP are required on the server and we prefer MySQL on Linux over Microsoft SQL server.

We test web sites with Apple's Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera, Camino.